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EDIT: a fast acting moderator deleted the user's post (and his rep is at 1 again) but, for reference, the user's profile is at http://stackoverflow.com/users/442340.

This user asked the following blatantly off-topic question:

alt text

This is his only question and he has 6 down votes (including mine) and no up votes. Checking his reputation history shows only the -12 from those 6 down votes. His reputation was actually higher than this before he got a few more down votes.

I do have a theory, that he was down voted when he posted the question and then several votes were removed by users within the 5 minute limit. Would this cause a rep refund of 2 points, even though the user lost no rep? Is it a potential exploit for gaining rep (if enough sock puppets were used)?

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Though, as it seems, it's a spammer. The User 'Mubi' is answering the question in a very interesting way, and with a link which fits astonishing good to the question. I'll flag it. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 8 '10 at 11:36
A moot point now that I've destroyed both ;p –  Marc Gravell Sep 8 '10 at 12:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

When a down-vote is removed 2 points are added to the rep total even if the rep was at 1.

So in this case 7 people down-vote and the rep remains at 1.

One person removes their down-vote and 2 is added giving a rep of 3 and leaving 6 down-votes.

If you remove your down-vote the rep will increase to 5 (I think).

Update: this is no longer the case, downvote reversals will restore the correct (if any) reputation.

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Tested and confirmed. That is weird... Aha, it's of course status-bydesign. –  Georg Fritzsche Sep 8 '10 at 11:38
@Georg - thanks for finding the link! –  ChrisF Sep 8 '10 at 11:45
@Georg, @ChrisF: Then my theory was correct, although as I said in the question, he had more rep than that before I down voted and noticed, which makes me wonder if this was some kind of crazy experiment involving sock puppets. –  Andy E Sep 8 '10 at 11:54
@Andy Well, it's practicaly impossible to abuse that to gain any kind of reputation. The difference between 1 & 3 reputation is trivial. –  HoLyVieR Sep 8 '10 at 12:28
@HoLy: I realize that, of course. It would take an astounding amount of effort to pull something big like instantly gaining 100 reputation, I was just thinking that this particular incident seemed like a bit of an experiment. –  Andy E Sep 8 '10 at 12:36
@Georg - Does that still apply? –  Peter Ajtai Sep 8 '10 at 16:43
@Peter: That is a different corner-case which didn't apply here - my removed down-vote gave the user the 2 additional rep, ergo 1 → 1 → 3. –  Georg Fritzsche Sep 8 '10 at 16:50

May be he accepted an answer on another question that got subsequently deleted.

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